Feeling better after a good walk is a feeling widely shared by those who have experienced it. During this activity, thebody / mind interaction is indeed unique. Walk 30 to 40 minutes several times a week allows you to decompress, to calm down when you are tense, but also to see more clearly or to find solutions. In short, it is both an extraordinary cognitive booster and a great natural tranquilizer. This empirical experience of the psychic benefits of walking is regularly confirmed by researchers.
“Inserm’s work has scientifically established the benefits of walking for prevent mental disorders on the very broad spectrum which goes from stress from modern life to depression. Walking frees the endorphins which contribute to our feeling of well-being, allows us to better situate ourselves in our life and tostrengthen our self-esteem », Explains Dr Guillaume Schneider-Maunoury,
1. Walk to relieve tension
The full and regular breathing that walking involves promotes better oxygenation of the body and brain, which helps to resolve the accumulated tensions.
“It’s a mechanical effect. The verticality imposed by walking leads to a relaxation of the trapezius, the upper back, the jaws, to the loose teeth … drop these high tensions, back, neck, shoulders, which settle when we are stressed. This physical relaxation immediately induces a psychic relaxation », Underlines Pierre-Yves Brissiaud, psychotherapist.
2. Walk to discover
Walking promotes our attention span and brings out our creativity. “When we walk in the countryside, for example, recalls Valérie Germain, clinical psychologist, we move away from the overuse of everyday life. Our attention is both wider and less dispersed. The mere movement of walking strengthens our concentration. Our reflections are also changing in nature. They are more existential. ”
Indeed, the symbolism of this movement is very strong. “When walking,” says Pierre-Yves Brissiaud, “you find yourself connected to the sky and the earth, the feet take root again and the head escapes upwards. There is a dimension of spiritual quest in walking. »And the opportunity to discover unsuspected resources in us, our usual resistances let our guard down, the associations of ideas are more easily helped by what is happening before our eyes.
3. Walk to rejoice
This is the icing on the cake. There is a very keen pleasure in taking advantage of the energy, of the happiness, which the softness of the air, the clarity of a sky, the force of a wind, sends us back to, a great delight in contemplating the beauty that gives us surrounded. Nature is a powerful and joyful therapist.
4. Walk to meditate
Meditating is not just emptying, it is also think differently. “Walking is mediation in movement, insists Pierre-Yves Brissiaud. By breaking away from our daily life, by the regularity of this repetitive movement, one foot in front of the other, and by the breathing that it establishes, it makes us enter into meditation more easily. ”
We can then decide to focus on your bodily feelings. For example, we can start a walk by being careful to relax our shoulders and by observing what is happening in us. Or by deciding to be more attentive to what we hear from the right ear, then from the left ear, and finally from both. Then, all you have to do is let whatever comes to mind.
5. Walk to be positive
Walking allows you to be positive because it is a whole activity simple and liberating. No skills are necessary, no prerequisites are required. We all know how to walk! Better, we are immediately good. You can start and enjoy it immediately. We thus start a positive spiral, one of the strengths of which is to help us get out of our ruminations and negative thoughts.
“Walking sets our body in motion,” explains Valérie Germain, “and this new physiological reality has an impact on our psychic reality: it forces us to get out of our loop operation. »We adopt a new angle of view, we escape a vision without a way out, we abandon these thoughts that were circling endlessly in us. An effect is visualized in the brain by medical imaging.
6. Walk to gain distance
When you feel stuck, with no solution, walking feeds thinking, “By placing us in a state of concentration that favors a return to the essential, observes Valérie Germain. This movement is done almost naturally, with our “defending body”. We come back to ourselves in a more global vision instead of focusing on details, we reformulate what obsesses us. “By integrating a new reality, another path, we simply take a step back. We no longer suffer, we place ourselves as an actor.
7. Walk to meet new people
Walking is also a powerful usability factor. It is an exercise that makes get out of isolation, including when walking alone. Meeting and recognition by those we meet are always one step ahead.
“When you are not in good spirits, notes Valérie Germain, we lose the desire to go to others. We doubt its value, we lack confidence in ourselvesi. However, walking in a place that pleases us helps restore that confidence. We feel part of the same family as those around us. The walkers greet each other, one look may be enough, and shared values that unite them. ”
8. Walk to awaken your senses
As we walk, our five senses are awakened. “Almost automatically, they synchronize,” notes Pierre-Yves Brissiaud. We smell the forest, we listen to birdsong, we feel the wind or the heat of the sun, we observe the landscape, we taste the rain … ”This sensory stimulation opens the palette of emotions, allowing us to better feel what is coming to us.
9. Walk to refocus
Walking allows us to put in order what we have heard, experienced, done. This is an opportunity to sort and reorganize the multiple information and sensations perceived during the day. “It’s an exercise in internalization when you decide to indulge in mindfulness, says Pierre-Yves Brissiaud. One might ask, “Why am I starting to walk? Is it to create a vacuum? To forget everything? Or call me back? ” To walk is then to come back to oneself, recreate an intimacy with oneself. ”
10. Walk to find each other
But walking alone, in the silence of his thoughts, is certainly first and foremost the occasion for a meeting with oneself, an inner dialogue. The harmony between body and head in which the movement installs us restores us in our completeness.
“We are in a society of appearances,” emphasizes Pierre-Yves Brissiaud. It is our exteriority that we work the most: “I am so and so, I do this in life, I have such and such a thing …” However, the exterior being is under the permanent influence of its environment while the interior being is more authentic, fairer, but also quieter. Walking allows us to make it emerge, to leave its place, and toinitiate a dialogue between this outer being and our inner being. “